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Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K K) Nikkor-P.C 1:2.0 f=8.5cm (RF Nikkor 85mm f/2.0)
Telephoto lens for Nikon S-Mount Rangefinder cameras - Part III

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Nippon Kogaku K.K. Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm lens for Nikon Rangefinder cameras - Post Occupation period models Year Introduced: 1953; Discontinued: probably 1955/6

Models of the Nikkor-P released towards the end of US Military occupation period were more easier to address. From here onwards, you can separate the models into three major groups. The early series can be easily distinguished from the earlier MIOJ version via the change of "Nippon Kogaku Japan" from "Tokyo". The series involved were still being produced with an all-chrome finishing. Between 1953~1956 Nikon had decided to implement some changes to their popular series of Nikkor lenses with a new look. That was when some of the lenses with a black barrel were began to surface. This general lens updating program had involved many models but mostly it was confined to cosmetically rather than implementing radical change internally with optical formula(s). The black barrel models was again went through another last round of facelift towards end of its production cycle which was aimed to improve the refining the aspect of lens handling. Regardless the changes, as for this favorite telephoto lens for many Nikon photographers, the optical design of the Nikkor-P 85/2.0 has remained literally unchanged throughout, where the original 5 elements in 3 group design was retained amidst all these series of updates occurred its last decade of production.

Various lens features and characteristic on a typical chrome model of  Nippon Kogaku KK Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras Lens data with Nippon Kogaku KK JAPAN on the Nikkor-P rangefinder telephoto lens
Tecnically, the Occupation era ended in September, 1951 and it was about the same time where the 24 x 34 format Nikon S was introduced as replacement model for the Nikon M. Nikkor lenses produced between the Nikon S and 1953's Nikon S2 era with the true 24 x 36 format can be a little muddy. But by the time Nikon S2 was released, most of the Nikkor had already being updated as "Nippon Kogaku Japan" where the "NK Tokyo" was dropped. The change didn't just limited to the change of name in the lens data. Nikon had also took the change and incorporated some changes to improve its features. From here onwards, eventhough the lens barrel still share most of the physical appearance when you look from a distance, but the Nikkor-P 85/2 lens group have these couple of features installed:

Size and dimesnion compariosn between Nikor-P.C 85mm and 135mm f/3.5 RF coupled to LEICA
1) The lens data indicates "Nippon Kogaku Japan".
2) The aperture diaphragm now has been extended with f/22 and f/32 and this is the most prominent change among all on the lens side.
3) The aperture control have a clickstop mechanism which provides a more postiove feel.
4) An infra Index (R) is provided.
5) The distance / DOF index with lens mounting index is colored.
6) No more "Made in Occupied Japan" (MIOJ) or "Made in Japan" inscription and/or engraving in any part of the lens.
* Although these lenses may not be carrying MIOJ and/or Made in Japan anymore, but EP sign on lens may be still available.

<<<--- Size and dimesnion compariosn between Nikkor-P.C 85mm 1:2 and Nikkor-Q.C 135mm f/3.5 RF coupled to LEICA (LSM)

: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

No one knows if these changes were inspired by the advices offered professional inputs from photographers such as David D. Dungan etc. as they were happening almost at the same time with the story went along but one thing is for sure, Nikon had taken positive steps during this stage to upgrade their lens specification and features to serve the photographers need. I am just basing on previaling episodes happened during that time to make a guess.

LEICA SM (LSM) chrome body version  second series Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras
On the other hand, even if the legend had some truth in it, I guess other photographers may just only wanted to give it a try on their Leica and Contax by getting a lens for their camera to test it out rather than being so convincingly by changing the entire camera system. So, lenses for other brands could have been picking in sales from this period too. The Leica SM and Contax mount Nikkor-P 85/2 share virtually identical features with the Nikon bayonet version update. Thus, other than with an updated designation of "Nippon Kogaku Japan", the Leica SM (LSM) models was also incoprated with an extended f/32, f/22 DOF scales alsong with colored R infra index. Due to the different rotational direction of focusing of Leica from Contax and Nikon, you can easily differentiate the LSM lens via the position of the R Infra Index. It is placed on the right hand side beside the distance index. Most of the other basic lens features is remained the same. Shown at left is a Leica SM model with the customary Nikon made chrome lens hood attached. As Nikon could be producing the LSM models in batches intermixing with production of the Nikon Bayonet model, there was no clear indication whether a reliable serial numbering system can be used to track the LSM units.

Rear section of a LEICA screw mount on a chrome bodied,  Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras

The infra red index on the chrome  Nikkor lens

truth in it, I guess other photographers may just only wanted to give it a try on their Leica and Contax by getting a lens for their camera to test it out rather than being so convincingly by changing the entire camera system. So, lenses for other brands could have been picking in sales from this period too. The Leica SM and Contax mount Nikkor-P.

RELATIVE:- LEICA/LEITZ 85mm lens group of telephoto lenses

Contax-mount version Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm all-chrome updated version:-

:- Contax/Zeiss 85mm rangefinder lens group of telephoto lenses

As mentioned at the earlier section, the Leica users market can be a vacuum to Nikon as there was no direct comparing model at the same price category. The Contax was a different story all together as they have a Zeiss Zonnar 85/2 to defend an emerging threat from the orient. I guess Nikon previous role as a thrird party label has suit them well as after all the exposure they had enjoyed, getting a Contax-mount Nikkor lens for the Contax camera was relatively much easier to do penetration to the German brand photographers. Further, as Nikon uses the same focusing rotation with the Contax and most of the control rings on the lens barrel are quite similar too, this has made adaptation for Contax user easier to use the Nikkor optic on their cameras too.

A contax mount model of  Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras second / newer series
Overall, even today the used equipment market may reflect the state of change occuring during that time, as there are actually more Contax-mount Nikkor 85/2 than LSM version. It was similar to the likes of Nikon / LSM units after the MIOJ product cycle, EP marked 85/2.0 was also quite common.

Reflective beautiful lens coating on an old, rare  Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras Chrome body and lens barrel on a Contax mount version,  Nikkor-P 1:2 f=8.5cm telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder cameras
NOTE: If you notice, Both Nikon and Canon had beagn to relaize the importance of branding, mots of their lenses had also improved even to the extend of packing.

previous | NEXT | 3/5 Here comes with a Black Barrel version of Nikkor-P 1:2 f=85cm Telephoto Lens

Part One
- Early / Variations | Part Two - Early LSM/Contax models | Part Three - Chrome barrel f/f32 | Part Four Black barrel f/32 | Part Five (Nikkor-S 85mm f/1.5)

W-Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f= 2.8cm | W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm lens Group (3.5/2.5/1.8) | Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | 5cm (50mm) lens group | RF Micro-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=5cm | Nikkor-P.C 1:2 f=8.5cm lens group / Nikkor-S.C 1:1.5 f=8.5cm lens group | Nikkor-P.C 1:2.5 f=10.5cm lens group / Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm | Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm lens group: 135/4, 135/3.5 Early / Last Version, 135/4 Bellow lens | Nikkor-H 1:2.5 f=18cm | Nikkor-Q 1:4 f=25cm | Nikkor-T 1:4.5 f=35cm | Nikkor-T.C 1:5 f=50cm | Reflex-Nikkor 100cm f/6.3

System Accessories for Nikon Rangefinder cameras
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Fixed Focal length Finders (index page): 2.1cm, 2.5cm, 2.8cm, 3.5cm, 35cm Stereo, 5cm, 8.5cm, 10.5cm, 13.5cm | Variframe / Varifocal / Sport-frames | Nikon Reflex Housing

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Related info:- Main index page for Leica/Leitz | Contax/Carl Zeiss | Seiki Kogaku (Canon)

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